ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Red Cross Virginia says they see a 20 percent decrease in blood donations during the holidays.

“During the holiday season, we see a number of factors particularly this year that put some headwind into the blood donation,” said Jonathan McNamara, Communications Director for Red Cross Virginia. He says the holidays are often sparse because donors are busy with family and are often out of town. This year, the tripledemic is an added strain.

“We’re also seeing a really dramatic rise in cases of flu, RSV, and COVID which is still in our community, and when we see that, unfortunately, that decreases the number of eligible donors,” he said.

He adds while the donor number drops, the need only grows.

“Hospitals, during this time of year, see an increase in the need for blood because of more people on the roadways there’s, unfortunately, more traumas,” he said.

McNamara emphasizes that when you donate blood, you really are part of the effort of saving someone’s life — and that person could be your neighbor, your family, or even you.